The Mold

Sometimes I really wonder if I fit the mold of “parent”. I think things were ok with one, but man, TWO…??? At points, it just feels like a runaway train. As an only child myself, coming from a string of only children, I often question whether my personality was cut out for more than one child. As everyone says, your heart, while full of love for the first, CAN and DOES make equal room to love the second. And yes, that is so true. Let’s just take a moment…

 

Ok, on with the show….anyhow, I often feel like control has completely “left the building”. I prided myself on my management skills with 31 kids in a classroom as a teacher, but why do two littles, and a dog, take me so close to the brink? Friends had warned me that two would feel exponentially more than one. And yes, they were right. Especially two boys! My self help books abound….

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A few days ago I was having a discussion about this whole topic, and it got me thinking….are personality types a predictor for success as a mom period, let alone applying that to the NUMBER of kids you plan to have? Why are some of my friends so much more adept at managing more than one child than me? Is it the personalities of their kids? Or their approaches to life that lead to success? Is it their prioritization of self care so that they stay refreshed and energized? Or their type A or B bend internally? Is success attributed to sleep? Coffee? Organized shelves and closets with label maker cohesion? (I’m personally hoping for that one!).

I am a personality test and book junkie. Here’s some proof….

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And to keep up with the Enneagram for kids and parenting…..for good measure, I got this one too!

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I keep reading about all this and thinking it over….and still come up short. I can say, however that it is a big sigh of relief to have my sweet husband take my eldest to the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk today with the senior highers. As I mentioned a few posts ago, I often feel stymied when trying to meet the needs of two munchkins at different developmental stages. Throw in the anxiety ridden dog, and we’re quite a site. The relief of only having one to take care of today, knowing the other is having a blast, no doubt, allows me to breathe.

So, is my ESFJ, Perfectionist / Helper, Type A self the root of this relief? Is it my need for control and order that is kicking into overdrive? Would love some insight from you veteran parents, psychology types and mentors and theorists. What makes a good parent? How do we quell the internal messages we feed ourselves about parenting? Is there a “silver bullet” method to determine the “perfect” number of kids for your personality? I’m kind of wondering if it’s really about choosing joy, despite the mess, disorganization, lack of sleep and unpredictability?! And choosing to lead by example….Or maybe….about wearing a different lens to see things in a new light.

“Be the best person you can be. It’s not what you demand or say; it’s how you lead by example.”
—Joan Wagele

“Unconditional love and support are essential. So is willingness to realize that being a parent is a responsibility—a beautiful and satisfying one, but nonetheless a responsibility. These are easy things to say, but they’re very hard to follow through on.”
—Hank Sanchez-

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